Our mission is to lead a community-wide partnership in the awareness and prevention of domestic violence and abuse, and to offer safety and support to diverse families in crisis.
About Harbor House
Harbor House is the singular agency in Outagamie and Calumet Counties committed to the awareness and prevention of domestic abuse. As passionate advocates, we constantly seek to start, drive, and shape the conversation around domestic abuse and the services needed to break the cycle. We do everything in our power to keep individuals and families safe through knowledge and connection.
Programming & Services
Available to shelter residents as well as non-residents, our free programming and services help individuals live a fulfilling life. All of our staff are highly trained in domestic abuse client advocacy and diversity awareness, with formal educational backgrounds in social work, human services, and education.
With the exception of our temporary shelter, all of the services offered at our Appleton location are also available through our Chilton office.
- Our 55-bed shelter facility in Appleton, Wisconsin houses women and children, while men seeking safety are provided alternative shelter locations based on need and level of danger.
- 24/7, confidential support and safety planning services are available in person and by phone at (800) 970-1171.
- Additional services such as economic advocacy, legal advocacy, and support groups move beyond basic safety to break down barriers to personal growth and empowerment.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic Abuse is characterized by one partner's need to control the other using a range of tactics. It includes behaviors that frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. It crosses all racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic boundaries, and yet, it does not affect everyone the same way. At Harbor House, we strive to be mindful of shared commonalities, yet flexible enough to respond to the individual differences within each individual’s situation. To best serve ALL individuals and families affected by domestic abuse, we take great efforts to ensure our programming and services are accessible to persons with disabilities, respectful of other cultures, and available to those who speak different languages.
Housed in a former nursing home, our ADA-compliant facility has wheelchair accessible ramps at all entrances, accessible bathrooms and showers, and an elevator that allows anyone with limited mobility to access all three floors of our building, as well as the basement. We also have a videophone for speaking to clients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and we’ve successfully completed an on-site accessibility assessment by Wisconsin’s Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women Project.
In order to promote cultural respect and family pride, we weave cultural values and beliefs into our conversations with parents and children, include education on different cultures in our support groups, and organize multicultural programming throughout the year. During the holiday season, special youth programming focuses on how holidays are celebrated in different cultures. We also allocate funds to buy foods from other cultures – foods that aren’t typically available at the local food pantry.
We work hard to accommodate language differences. Shelter signage is printed in the three languages most prevalent in Northeastern Wisconsin - English, Hmong, and Spanish. Several staff members are bilingual, including staff who speak Spanish and Hmong. Professional Interpreters are brought in to assist other non-English speaking clients and clients who are deaf or hearing-impaired. We host a weekly women’s support group in Spanish and offer informational DVDs and brochures in Hmong and Spanish.
Established in 1984, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs began as a county-administered program offering safe shelter and basic crisis services to domestic abuse victims. From these humble beginnings, we expanded to a 55-bed shelter facility with 24-hour emergency services and a wide range of programming for families affected by domestic violence.
We partner with a number of likeminded community organizations, allowing us to expand our operational capacity beyond what can do on our own. Through collaborations and special projects that draw on each other’s strengths, we’ve worked to better address the needs and increase the self-sufficiency of domestic abuse victims and survivors in our area.
Harbor House receives funding from a variety of sources. It is our goal to use this funding to create the greatest value for survivors of domestic abuse. Our annual reports provide information on where funding comes from and how we turn that support into programming – and ultimately outcomes – for individuals and families affected by domestic abuse.